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December 13, 2005
Next, Appear Penitent
All you parents - recognize this sequence? First, deny there's a problem. Second, blame someone else. Third, try halfheartedly to fix it but generally make a bigger mess in the process. Fourth, and only when forced, actually clean up the mess. Finally, hang head and make a sorrowful face while promising to do better next time, but don't actually change behavior.
If you guessed "my five-year-old child" you were right. If you also guessed "Sony BMG" you're right again.
Having gone through all the steps, Sony has reached the final stage and is dutifully promising to "reevaluate" its DRM strategy. This is pure media relations and an attempt to deflect criticism. I don't think anything will actually change, unless - or should I say 'until' - Sony is faced with a serious artist revolt. Corporate penitence is nothing - the bottom line is everything.
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